Monday, November 18, 2013

Designate Space & Time

These last few months have been a whirlwind of activity - you can probably tell from all my posts lately.

Even though it has been hectic - it has been good, we are all working towards awesomeness :).

One of the struggles I have had though is keeping up with everything.  I am having a hard time juggling work with home, my studies with the girl's studies, cooking with cleaning, and of course "Me" time with "Everybody Else" time.

We were gone for the weekend and so on our way home I was going through the TO DO's for this week and starting to get stressed about it all.  I have been prioritizing more lately but it seems that the things that are lower on the list never get moved up - they have to get finished (or started) at sometime. I have been on a quest to simplify and make certain tasks a little easier and so a thought came to me.  I struggle because I am always having to reorganize, clean-up, move stuff around. and what I really need to do it designate spaces for certain tasks and not allow other tasks to go into those spaces.

Example: Homeschooling, we do not have a designated space.  One girl prefers the kitchen table the other girl has no preference and will do her work anywhere (or not do her work anywhere).  But the problem is that when we are getting ready to use the kitchen for its intended use, we are having to spend ample time cleaning up all the school stuff.  The kitchen has always been the mail drop off, charging of various devices zone also.

By the time everything is cleaned up a little bit of frustration has now set in and the time spent in the kitchen is less than productive.

Solution: I got up this morning and cleared space in the den for the girls to do their school work in there.  A central location that can be seen from the other rooms yet enclosed enough that school can be contained to that area.  The kitchen is for cooking - period. I cleared off the buffet in the kitchen that was the host of the various mail baskets and charging cords and put my crock pot, mixer, blender and food processor there. I am more likely to use them if I am not having to lug them out of a closet each time. All work stuff is in the den where they are working while I am working and we can discuss and help without me running to different rooms each time.

I am also working on the designation of time.  Certain tasks need to be done at certain times and then when that time is up than I need to not think about it anymore. The thoughts of house cleaning invade my study time and vise versa, I need to focus on the matter at hand and not on all the other stuff I am trying to do. This includes the "Me" time - I'll let you know how that goes.  I am notorious for staking out some me time and then spending it thinking about what I need to get done.

Let's see how this works out!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Obedience Is...

I asked my Sunday School class this morning what obedience is.  One of the kids gave this answer - "Obedience is Love".  Wow, most of them were responding with things like "Listening to your parents"; "Doing what your told"; one even said "Obeying" :).

But when this one young lady replied with this answer I was blown away.  She is absolutely right, Obedience is Love.

Obedience is an act of love, obedience is an act of respect, obedience is an act humility, obedience is an act of trust. This made me ask myself these 2 questions:

What areas am I being obedient in?

What areas in my life am I not acting in obedience/love?

I think I need to work on a few things....

Sunday, July 7, 2013

If you can't say anything nice....

I remember as a child hearing the saying "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

I have recently become more aware of how people feel it is necessary to criticize others when they don't agree.  Case in point - I love Pinterest! I have recently discovered the benefits of this little gem in planning my home school "Stuff" like organization, possible curriculum etc.  I came across a few pins where in the comment section people who obviously didn't agree with homeschooling, made comments criticizing the practice.  My first thought was - why are you commenting?  This is a pin clearly labeled for "home school" so why are you even looking at it and in looking at it, why do you feel it is necessary to criticize?

I see this also a lot on Facebook - I have a FB account because it allows me to stay in touch with people that I just don't get to see very often if at all.  Some of my friends decide to use it as a platform for their opinions - whatever floats your boat!  I choose not to do this, but it amazes me how often someone will post about something they believe in and how others have the audacity to tell them they are wrong!  If you don't agree, MOVE ON, SCROLL DOWN, BLOCK or UNFRIEND!  Why does there have to be a debate via Facebook for everyone else to see. I have to say that the critical comments never change the other person's mind. In fact I think it just shows the commenter's ignorance to the fact that not everyone has to agree with you. I have friends who have different perspectives on things, and no I may not agree with them, but that doesn't mean I have the right to disrespect them on their own page.  It may mean that I pray for them a little more but not disrespect them.

Just a thought: If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Abundant Blessings

Wow, let me just say again, Wow!  It is amazing what is happening these days. The Lord is rocking our world let me tell you.  Prayers are being answered, prophecies are being fulfilled, true spiritual growth is happening among my family and church.

For me in particular - the Lord is showing me how to put into action all these things that He has put on my heart.  I am learning how to get organized, focused and actually accomplish the tasks at hand.  How is this happening, you ask? Obedience, simple and pure obedience.  I am in the Word everyday, whether I feel like it or not.  I am fasting one morning a week, whether I feel like it or not.  I am praying throughout the day and praising Him continually. Why - Philippians 4:6-7 that's why!

He told me to make a schedule so I made a schedule and I am sticking to it.  It is amazing the peace you feel when you realize that you don't have to accomplish everything in the moment that it comes to your mind.  I tell myself - "I will take care of that at the appointed time." and I am released from feeling like I am overwhelmed.

He wants me to embrace what He is giving me, not be overwhelmed by it.  And by being obedient, He is answering prayers and revealing His intentions.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Commitments update

Well, considering it has been over 2 months since I last posted, I would have to say that the commitment of posting every week has in fact - FAILED.

As far as all the other ones, I think I am still going strong.  But then again how would you know since I haven't posted anything in over two months - oh well :)

The last several weeks have consisted of remodeling projects that must be finished before our vacation in a couple of weeks because by the time we return we will be hitting monsoon season.  We have been redoing our decks.  I have never been so tired in all my life, well maybe after giving birth.  But since then I have not worked so hard.  I am bruised and battered but the job is finally finished.

I also have wrapped up co-teaching a Bible Study with my dad - the Preacher Man.  That was really cool and I really learned a lot.  Not just about that particular Bible study but also about my capability in teaching.  I am really gaining confidence in this area.  I also preached for the 3rd time and I am really happy with how that went as well.  I finished up the Peacemakers study with the Sunday school kids and we are now preparing for them to "Preach" one Sunday this month and teach the adults what they have learned.

So as you can see I do have some good reasons for not posting for awhile - I will try to do better. Umm well actually the rest of this month may be challenging but starting in July - I promise (maybe)...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Joyfully Busy

Wow, I am all of a sudden a force to be reckon with, let me tell you!

Don't know if it is the Kale/Spinach/fruit smoothies I have been drinking, the fact that I am consistently working out 3 days a week, the fact that I am sleeping better due to getting a newer mattress from some friends of ours, or the fact that last week I had an incredible day where I experienced pure joy and have been continuing to experience it ever since - or maybe all the above!

Not sure what it is but I am going to go with it - this weekend I finally cleaned out the rat infested shed.  My dad came over and helped me take two loads to the dump. That really got the ball rolling and I ended up spending a good portion of Saturday cleaning out the rest.

Now I have to tell you that the shed has bothered me for over a year.  I have a rodent phobia of sorts, I pretty much get hysterical at the sight of any kind of rodent - mice, rats, gerbils, ferrets etc. etc.

Luckily, I never saw any just their damage to numerous boxes  and all the remnants that they thought of the shed as their castle. I must have shoveled a bag full of their little leftovers - yes the shed was full of rat dooty!  But I got it done, mostly because I was fed up.

I have also cleaned out the garage and  am planning out my garden, which I will be starting in the next few weeks.

Usually, when I look at my list of To-Do's I instantly get overwhelmed. This week however, I look at this list and think - I can do and I can do it well. One job at a time, one day at a time. Done.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Commitments update

Here is an update on the commitments that I made back in January.

Health wise - I am working hard, the girls and I have been doing devotions together 3 days a week, followed by working out together.  We have kept this up for 5 weeks and we are starting to notice positive changes in both the things we discuss during the devotion time as well as in our bodies and energy.  Little sister doesn't do much more than jump around while big sis and I are working out!  We are doing a combination of weights and toning exercises. Three days a week was a good beginning - doable but not overwhelming which would just lead to failure.

I am also NOT weighing myself anymore - I have decided to go by how I feel vs. those little red numbers that just defeat me even when I am feeling good.

Love wise - I think I am gaining ground on being able to overlook negative stuff and just love others for who they are, God's Children.

Wife/Mother - I am enjoying my daily life as mom and wife very much, I am going easy on myself as far as pressure to be all that I can be in every area and concentrating on being all that I can be as mom/wife. I look at my girls and just get this overwhelming feeling to cherish every moment with them, they are growing up so fast. 

Overall, I think things are going well so far on these commitments that I made to myself. 

Luv ya

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Spring Cleaning

Yeah, it is day one of spring cleaning!  Apparently, I am the only one excited in my house too.  I have decided that since the girls and I are home for the next 3 days (which is a rare feat these days) we are going to spend some time cleaning out clothes, books, and whatever else I can come up with. 

I also realized that this is a good time to do some spring cleaning on myself also - no I am not talking about doing "that" kind of cleaning (although a good detox probably wouldn't hurt).  I  have been thinking a lot about the things that get me down, put me in a bad mood, and I realize that I can control my thoughts and that I need to stop worrying, dreading, getting frustrated over other people or jobs that need to be done. And turn it all back to God, who can help me turn it to joy.  I need more joy in my life, even over the little things.  I desperately want to wake up each morning with a sense of - I can deal with whatever life brings me today because I have Him to deal with it along side me and I can do this with joy in my heart.

This is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Manage Your Emotions & Expectations

I think one of the biggest lessons I have learned these last few months is how to manage my emotions and expectations when dealing with people.

Unfortunately, we live in a time where some one's word doesn't always equal commitment.  And in a dog eat dog world many are growing up with the attitude of me and mine first and others are not a priority.

Working in ministry these days means that more and more I am dealing with people NOT following through on their commitments.  I was getting really down a few months back, it seemed like I had gotten to point where I expected to be let down or I expected people to not follow through on their commitments. I realized then that this was affecting my relationships with others and was conflicting with the command to love others. I went to the Lord with this issue and here is what He has been telling me:

Love them no matter what, manage your expectations, I give you hope so have hope that I am working  in their lives - but don't lock them into your expectations.  Manage your emotions to reflect love for others, and do what needs to be done with JOY in your heart.

In my "line of work" and anyone else who is in a "ministry" type of atmosphere,what we  need to understand is that we are dealing with the root of people.  In some jobs you deal with people and their skills - accounting, medical, people skills, organizational etc.  Character issues come out but it isn't always the area that you need to deal with.  In ministry it is the main focus - we are dealing with the spirit and soul of people and that is why I believe so many ministries are struggling these days.  Even as Christians we screw up and need forgiveness and even as Christians our pride and controlling spirits get in the way.

I can't stop loving someone every time they let me down, however, I can always have a back-up plan.  I will get frustrated and there may be times when I or someone else needs to confront others regarding these issues. I may also have to stand ground and not allow someone who isn't trustworthy to make a commitment that will most likely end in not following through, which can be hard.  Many make decisions based on emotions but when the time comes to follow through, they are no longer in that emotional state and that is when the priority of following through gets pushed down. I have had to stop asking certain people to help because even though they mean well, it isn't gonna happen. 

This is a Spiritual warfare fight in the lives of many, so most importantly I need to pray and love - no matter what.  I have hope in the Lord and I trust the Lord.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Warning! Slippery Slobber Ahead

Yes, I feel the need to post this warning now to anyone who may come to my house. 

I never thought I would need to have a warning like this but then again I never really thought about the fact that I would one day absolutely love a 100lb dog who - yes - slobbers.

I had an awesome weekend in Phoenix at the Joyce Meyer conference with several gal pals.  The Lord really spoke to me and confirmed many things that I had been thinking over the last couple of months.

Plus it was a nice break to get away with friends and talk and shop a little and attend this conference together.  Upon arriving home Saturday evening however, my excitement started dwindling.  I found out that an acquaintance of mine from high school had passed away (she was 2 yrs younger than me) from a massive stroke.  Then talk turned to some financial situations that will cause us to revamp some plans we had made.  By the time I went to bed I was a little more on the grumpy side - then morning happened and the rush of trying to get ready for church, showers that should have been done the night before, casserole for fellowship dinner - that also should have been done the night before etc. By that time I was really grumpy and then it happened, the reason why I now must warn people who come to my house to not only be aware of the 100lb beast we now call "Bigfoot" but of her ever present gift to us - slobber!

I was walking quickly back to my room to finish dressing and before I knew it - Wham, bam, oomph, *#@#.  I was flat on the floor and my right foot was throbbing.  Apparently I had stepped in slobber. I couldn't even talk my foot hurt so bad, I guess I had made some sort of noise because everyone came running but as my husband was asking "What happened?" I couldn't even make a sound.  He helped me up and helped me to the bed. And all I could think about was is this a consequence for my bad attitude this morning.  I was so huffy (not sure if that is a word to describe an attitude, I know it is a bike, however I'm going with it) that I wasn't paying attention to where I was stepping,  I was in such a hurry due to the fact that I had accomplished nothing the night before and I was thinking about how bad this day was going to be and then it got worse.

I did make it to church and only limped around a little but by the time I got home my whole body was aching.  I took some pills and took a nap.  I'm pretty sore still and my foot is starting to turn various shades of blue in one area but I can't stop thinking about something that Joyce Meyer said in her sermons this weekend. "Offenses are stumbling blocks in our walk with God", here I was so excited about what the Lord had been speaking to me this weekend and then I started to get so frustrated and upset about things that were happening (taking offense) - I stumbled. Literally, in dog slobber.

God cared about all those things that I started dealing with upon my arrival - did I once take any of these things to Him, no I didn't.  He cares about my friends family, he cares about all that I do at home and at church.  I had no reason to get flustered and down.  This is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it. I hope and pray I can get a handle on that someday!

Monday, February 11, 2013

God Knows....

God knows.....

That I am grieving for friends who have had a major loss in their journey to have a family, I am heartbroken for them and their family and friends who have been walking this road with them.  I don't understand why this has happened this way and I am fighting anger and frustration along with the overwhelming sadness that I am feeling. But God knows and He has them in His hands.

God knows....

That I am also grieving for a friendship that I thought was real.  I am realizing that this friendship is one where I am continually there for the other person but the other person isn't there for me.  I have come to realize over the last few weeks that this person is very self-centered and that I do not mean as much to her and she means to me.  I also realize that I don't have the energy to babysit this relationship.  I will always be there for her and love her but I need to remove my heart from what I thought this was and accept it for what it really is. God knows and He will help me deal with it.

God knows....

The person that I am stretching to be and when I fail miserably, He knows I am trying.  I am making good changes and it is a process that will not happen overnight.  No matter how much I mess it up, He will not give up on me because God knows - God knows who He has intended me to be and He knows that I will get there one day.

God knows....

Thursday, February 7, 2013

God, Grant Me Serenity.....

God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can, and the
Wisdom to know the difference.

This has been an eventful week - some good, some bad and some that I am not sure what to make of yet.  I woke this morning after a restless sleep and remembered this poem that I have cherished since I was young.

No matter what I need to rely on Him to help me figure out what (if anything) I need to do.  I think what stresses me the most is when I have no influence on a situation that someone else is in control of and yet it affects me and mine. I have never thought of myself as a control freak, but maybe there is a little part of me that is.

But then again maybe that is also the boldness that the Lord is bringing out in me.  He is putting in my spirit the desire to fight for things I think I need to fight for (with his guidance of course) instead of being a push over. To approach Him with confidence and He will guide us.

"So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most."
Hebrews 4:15-16

"Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence."
Ephesians 3:11-13

Maybe the feeling of lack of control is actually the call from the Lord to seek Him and His answers boldly. In the Spirit realm, we do have influence and the Lord knows the desires of our hearts and He can reach people whom we can't.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Blessed are the Peacemakers

Matthew 5:9 - Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

A few years back I realized that I was a Peacemaker, in fact I had always been one.  Even as a little child I was always trying to "smooth things over" between friends and family.  In a way I think that we as Christians are all called to make peace with others or to help others to do this.  But I also feel that God selects some of us to be actual Peacemakers.  Those who feel in their hearts that they can help others to understand miscommunication, or to smooth out offenses.  There are those of us who He gives insight to on how to handle situations or speak to people.

To be a Peacemaker (whether as a gifting or just because the Bible says so) you need to understand how to resolve conflict Biblically.  Resolving conflict through the Word of God is the key element in this calling.  When I felt the Lord telling me that I was a Peacemaker, I researched the verse and came across a ministry called Peacemaker Ministries ( and a wonderful book called The Peacemaker by Ken Sande, this book really changed my life and reaffirmed what the Lord was telling me.

I have started teaching our Children's Church group the practice of Biblical conflict resolution. We are in the third lesson now and I am really excited to see the light go off in their heads as they talk about how the Lord wants us to deal with conflict - something these kids are faced with on a regular basis whether it is in school, family or even just in the park.  I had a wide awakening to what these kids who range in age from 6 - 12 have already seen and/or encountered.

I had to smile this past Sunday when one of them spoke up and said - "I think adults should learn this stuff" I then told him that maybe God will use him to teach the adults in his life.  He smiled and I know that something has touched his heart.

Think about it - if more people had an understanding on how to resolve conflict in a healthy and Biblical way, how many conflicts, lawsuits or even tragedies we would avoid, there could actually be PEACE - what a concept.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Keeping the Sabbath

One of the areas that I am really working on is my relationship with the Lord.  When someone suffers from anxiety, like I do/have, it is really hard to Be Still and Know that I am God. 

I am always doing something, mostly because I am a "doer" but also because when I am not doing something, I am thinking about all the things that I should be doing or I am thinking about all the worries I have that I can't do anything about.

I decided that I am going to try and keep the Sabbath, now to me that doesn't mean not working.  To me that means to make this a day for resting.  I know, this may not make sense - but it will.

For me there is always something that needs to be done but my way of resting on the Sabbath is to not worry about things, this is my day off from thinking about the coming work week, school week etc.  If I spend the afternoon watching movies or my favorite tv shows (which rarely happens with other avid tv watchers in my home) or reading or even cleaning out a closet or my recipes or something like that - that is ok.  My goal is to give my mind a break from worry.  And that is how I can honor the Sabbath.  For some people it is physical working that they need to take a break from, but for me physical work makes me happy - it is the mental work that I need to be free of.

I believe that Keeping the Sabbath can be different for different people, but that God intended it to be a break from our everyday stresses, a time to refresh ourselves and replenish our spirit with time with Him, focusing on Him and resting whatever in our lives needs to be rested.  Many have different thoughts on this and I think that a long time ago, like in the olden days when it was very strict that you couldn't work on Sundays/Sabbath that made it a negative thing and greatly misunderstood.  Now I am not saying that my thoughts on this are necessarily right - but through a lot of prayer, this is what I feel the Lord is telling me.

Happy Sabbath!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Commitments Update

I'm here! See, so that is one commitment that has made it past the first week.  I think I did pretty well last week, I actually had 3 days of being home and so I made the best of it.  I organized all my recipes and put them into a binder under different categories.  I also pulled out my cookbooks and put them on a shelf in my island.  This way I am more likely to look at them and actually use them for menu planning.  I also got some books for my Nook on freezer meals and breakfasts recipes.  Today at some point after school work, I am going to sit down and figure out a meal plan for my grocery shopping on Thursday.

I was very good at church yesterday, despite the fact that I run around the whole time and half of my Sunday School class didn't make it and the person who signed up for nursery cancelled that morning, the water in the kitchen area was frozen due to the 17 degree weather in Southern Arizona - I had love in my heart for everyone, and tried really hard not to get stressed.

So, I think I am off to a good start, hopefully at some point today I will do my Bible study and sit on the exercise bike and actually pedal (I have come to realize that just sitting there is not going to make my tummy smaller - boohoo).

I really feel like I am on the right track for this year and that now I have decided this is what I want to do and acknowledge that I can't do it alone, God and I will make a good team.  I also realize that it isn't about accomplishing these things it is about the attitude behind them- Why do I want to make these changes and knowing the whys will help me succeed in them. 

Have a good week!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Commitments

With this new year I am making some new commitments.  Mostly to myself, well actually all of them are to myself. 

Commitment #1 - Tomorrow is the 9th anniversary of my 30th birthday.  I have decided to commit to myself that by the time I reach my birthday next year (the big 40) I want to be healthier.  I would like to loose about 20lbs. I need to start weight training and I really want to get into the habit of spending time with the Lord on a daily basis.  These are all things that will help me become healthier.

I have yet to figure out how I will accomplish these items - I'll let you know!

Commitment #2 - I would like to write new posts weekly - SHOCKER, I know, now you can pick yourself off the floor either from laughing or fainting.  I have been through a lot this year that I haven't written about.  Several times I would sit down to write but then I wouldn't know how to get the thoughts into a written document.  Sometimes I would just have these crazy yet realistic one liners and would think "Is it worth putting on the blog?" Finally I realized that the whole point of doing this was to share what God has been doing in my life.  Even if it is a one liner, who knows who that can help or effect.  So my commitment #2 is that you will see something new here each week - even if it is just a Hello!

Commitment #3 - Love - I need to have an attitude of Love. Enough said about that.

Commitment #4 - Proverbs 31:10 - 31, that is the kind of wife and mother I want to be for my family.  After God, they are my priority and I need to keep it that way. "A wise woman builds her home...." Proverbs 14:1

Commitment #5 - Proverbs 31:8-9, "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice." That is the kind of person I want to be, there are issues that I feel strongly about and I feel that God is saying "Now is the time to stand up and speak, speak with love and respect, that way I will be heard." I am passionate about children having the opportunity to flourish and learn no matter what their circumstances are."

What Commitments can you make this year?